I am writing this on the eve of Easter Sunday 2008. This Easter is not very different than all of the other Easter's here at Casa de Swarr. The only thing that really prompted me to write this boils down to the fact that we are going over to Maribeth's sisters to have Easter lunch with her and her husband. Again, not very different...getting together with family for Easter. And (big surprise here) we are taking something to contribute to the oh so wonderful event of holiday, mealtime overindulgence. We were asked to take bread. Again, no biggie. However...
Yesterday Maribeth and I were discussing what we wanted to take and we decided to bake bread from scratch. Scratch meaning yeast, flour, etc... OK, in case you don't know, I love being in the kitchen. However I really love baking. Especially bread. So when Maribeth actually got excited about making bread from scratch, I was excited too. I love when she takes on new things. Especially something I enjoy doing or at least something she can do and I can vicariously get excited through her. It's great.
So there we were, looking through the bread book (aka, my second Bible) and we found a recipe for Challah. I will use this time to point out the absolute irony of making a Jewish bread for an Easter Sunday meal and taking the time and making it on the Sabbath. I'm sure that if my mother was Jewish, I would never hear the end of it...ever.
So the time came and Maribeth started mixing all the ingredients. I was sleeping on the couch, I think, so she was actually having to reference the book for explanations of terms and techniques instead of asking me (which is probably a good thing because I have a habit of teaching by doing, not just telling...and that would have led to me just doing it myself).
So the recipe proceeded according to plan and I must say that Maribeth did an outstanding job mixing and kneading the dough. Then it came time for her to put lil man down (aka bedtime) and I had the task of beautifying the loaf. In this case braiding the bread. The recipe called for three 'strands' of bread, however, due to my fantastically uneven division I ended up with four even pieces that I braided together. I must say, I think it looks a lot nicer this way.
So then Declan went to bed and Maribeth took over the final steps of applying the wash and poppy seeds and chucking the whole kit and caboodle in the oven. 45 minutes later...the end result:
Great job Maribeth. Easter Day will tell, but I bet it tastes as good as I assume it will.